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Brown, William


Posted By: mjv (email)
Date: 8/7/2020 at 16:51:22

William Brown, deceased, was born in Luzerne County, Pa. He was a son of Thomas and Maria (Askam) Brown. They were married in Pennsylvania, in which State a family of five children were reared William, David, Susanna, Benjamin, and Martha. All came to Iowa except Martha, wife of Eleazer Shoemaker, a resident of Seneca County, Ohio. Thomas Brown was born and reared in England, coming from Warwickshire to America. By trade he was a ribbon weaver, but after coming to this country purchased a farm in Luzerne County, Pa., upon which he opened and operated a coal-mine. His wife was born in America but of English parents. William and Alice Askam reared four sons and four daughters William, John, Thomas, Burton, Maria, Caroline, Catharine and Susanna. The parents both lived and died in Pennsylvania, but several of the children came to Ohio, Mrs. Thomas Brown being the only resident of Iowa. In 1846 William Brown wedded Miss Catharine, daughter of Jacob and Catharine Shaffer. The Shaffers were both natives of Germany, where they were married and remained for several years on a small farm near Strasburg. There the eldest son, John A., was born, who is now the husband of Mary (Allibaugh) Clause, and a resident of Henry County, Iowa. Catharine Shaffer was, when married to Jacob, the widow of Mr. Worth, by whom she was the husband of two children John and Philip, who came with them to America. Philip is deceased; John married Mary Maller, and resides in Worth County, Mo. Two children were born to Jacob and Catharine, in Pennsylvania Catharine and Jacob. All trace has been lost of the latter but Catharine is the widow of our subject. She, with her husband, removed in 1846 from Pennsylvania, engaging in farming till their emigration to Iowa, in 1856. In Pennsylvania their two eldest children were born: Marietta, wife of Allen B. Lemon, now deceased; Thomas J., now a partner in the tile factory of the Brown Brothers. The journey from Wilkes Barre, Pa., to Scranton, was made by stage, the remainder of the trip to Burlington by rail, and from thence to Mt. Pleasant by stage, where our subject and his family came in 1856. After spending a few months in Henry County, Mr. Brown purchased nearly a quarter-section adjoining the family homestead, which was later added to by other purchases. A small house, which is now used for a barn, had been erected by the former owner, and into this the Brown family moved in the autumn of 1856. In that home their last children, John W. and Scott M., were born. The latter is the husband of Mary, daughter of James and Elizabeth A. Straine, old residents of this county, whose family history will be found elsewhere in this work. In the autumn of 1856 the aged parents of our subject came to Iowa, and during the remainder of their lives they found a happy home and cordial welcome beneath the hospitable roof of our subject. Thomas died in 1857, aged eighty-one, and his wife twenty years later in her eightieth year. Both are interred at the cemetery at Asbury Chapel. William Brown became quite a wealthy man prior to his death, in 1879, most of which was accumulated by his own industry, aided by his energetic and economical wife. After coming to this State they owned two farms in Henry County and three 80-acre farms northwest of Washington, in this county, besides the home farm of more than a quarter-section. They made their children each a present of a valuable farm, and were nicely prepared to spend their remaining years in comfort, when the death of Mr. Brown occurred, since which time the sons have managed the farm. The sons are also energetic men, following closely the example of their father. In 1882 Thomas and John erected a large tile factory, the first and only one of the kind in this township. A fine building, provided with all the most approved machinery, has been erected, and is the source of a fine income.

Scott and his wife are with Mrs. Brown, in the roomy family residence. Two grandchildren, Marietta and Jessie Elizabeth, nestle in the arms of the fond grandma, who, although a lady of middle age, has reared a nice family, and has seen them all develop into business men and women of the most correct business habits. Marietta taught several terms of school in this and other counties, and afterward taught in Independence, Kan., of the city schools of which her husband, Allen B. Lemon, was Principal.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Washington County, Iowa (1887). Excerpt from Biographical Sketch of William Brown, pages 539-540.


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